Blockchain and Copyright Symposium

The Blockchain and Copyright Symposium brings together stakeholders in the copyright management and licensing domain to critically review the pros and cons of blockchain technologies for copyright-related applications. We invited representatives of rights holders (collective rights management organizations investing in blockchain technology), start-up disruptors (who use the Ethereum platform to develop a decentralized content distribution and remuneration system), and legal scholars to discuss the possible uses of – and reasonable expectations for) this technology.

Blockchain technology seems to be all the hype nowadays. The quick and widespread adoption of the blockchain based Bitcoin cryptocurrency and its proven disruptive potential resulted in a flurry of activity around various blockchain based ideas. Venture capital firms invest heavily into blockchain start-ups with the aim of finding the next big disruptor. Incumbents of all kinds of industries, from banking to music, launch initiatives to fend off disruption, and exploit the potential benefits of this new technology. Meanwhile, governments and public bodies explore the regulatory and policy challenges around a technology which is fundamentally decentralized and anonymous. There is much uncertainty about the true potential and the technological, economic, and other limitations of blockchain technology. This lack of knowledge and experience is filled in with hype, unfounded promises, and wishful thinking sold as tested solutions.

To look beyond the hype, and realistically assess the applicability of blockchain technology to copyright management and licensing, the Symposium brings together lawyers, legal scholars, and technologists to discuss how to articulate a cryptography-based blockchain software code with the existing copyright framework, as well as identify potential conflicts and gray areas. The Symposium is aimed at lawyers, academics and other professionals involved in questions of copyright law, especially its interface with technology and collective rights management. It is also open to technologists in the blockchain area that have an interest in its legal application, especially to copyright. In both cases, participants should have some prior knowledge of the field.


Professor Daniel Gervais is Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University, USA. He is an expert in international intellectual property law.





Rebecca Brook . Becky oversees Business Development at blockchain startup JAAK , drawing on over ten years of music industry experience that includes her prior-position as Vice President of Commercial Development at Omnifone and a variety of Strategy & Business Development roles at the likes of EMI Music, SeeSaw, Sony Pictures, and Warner Music Group. Jaak is developing a blockchain based licensing and content distribution environment.




Xavier Costaz is the Project Director at SACEM, the French Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music. He is leading SACEM’s blockchain initiative.




Balázs Bodó is a research scientist at the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, working on the social construction of blockchain technologies.

Presention here:




Wednesday, 5 July 2017, 14.00–16.00.


Tropeninstituut, Mauritskade 63, 1092 AD Amsterdam.


The event is full, registration is closed.